OCFC Falls to Fresno FC in U.S. Open Cup

by Art Eftekhari

orange county fc takes fresno fc to extra time in second round of u.s. open cup

Fresno, CA – It had been a long time coming, but Orange County FC finally got its first taste of a professional soccer club on May 16 at Lamonica Stadium against Fresno FC of the United Soccer League in the Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

OCFC fought hard and put in a valiant effort as the match was scoreless after ninety minutes.

But after five minutes into extra time, Fresno FC finally found the breakthrough as Terran Campbell converted a pass from midfielder Jose Cuevas and fired his shot into the net past OCFC keeper Brandon Gomez.

Despite falling behind, OCFC didn’t get the wind taken out of their sails and nearly equalized one minute later when a volley hit the crossbar.

Orange County FC kept up the pressure, but it wasn’t to be their night as Peruvian forward Renato Bustamente put on the finishing touches in the 118th minute to give Fresno the 2-0 victory.

The U.S. Open cup journey is over for Paul Caligiuri and Orange County FC, but they have every reason to keep their heads up.

“I am very proud of the guys, they fought hard to the last second and gave everything they had,” owner Nader Dejbakhsh said.

“It simply was not our night, we created so many opportunities, but the soccer gods were not with us.”

Fresno head coach Adam Smith was out of the country, but assistant coach and former Welsh international Robert Earnshaw was in charge on the sidelines and afterward he had plenty to say about Orange County FC.

“I thought they were excellent, I thought they worked very, very hard,” assistant coach Robert Earnshaw said.

“They train one day a week, some of them train two days a week. But they were a very, very good team. They gave us a very good test and I thought it was a difficult game.”

It has been a busy few weeks for Orange County FC, but now it is time to focus the attention back to the NPSL Southwest.